It’s March 2020. Shelter-in-place orders have just been instituted in Monterey County, California, and the Carmel City Council realizes this new reality could have serious consequences for at-risk populations. Jeff Baron, Carmel City Councilman, knew the organization needed credible, trained experts to organize a concerted effort to care for the community, and he contacted me to join the steering committee due to my CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) certification through the American Red Cross. 

Carmel Neighbors began as a conversation among several Carmel citizens who wanted to make sure that no one fell through the cracks during this time of shelter-in-place and social distancing. The organization has a cadre of volunteers who can help with grocery shopping, prescriptions, errands, picking up mail, frequent check-in calls, and doing what they can to help Carmel residents weather the storm.

I manage the volunteers, roughly 50 as of mid-April and growing, and have been amazed at the outpouring of support from the community. During weekly calls to engage volunteers, I’m heartened by their stories of meeting and helping others and finding the joy in giving back.

Consider helping yourself get through our current, or any, crisis by helping others, and take advantage of the wellness links below. Be well.


Carmel Neighbors Wellness Links

Carmel Harrison Memorial Library: E Books, videos, on-line classes and presentations

Monterey Public Library: Mindful Yoga

Monterey Sports Center: Free on-line Sport Fitness

Yale University:  Happiness Course- Free

Carmel Academy of Performing Arts (CAPA): CAPA Virtual Dance Studio

Monterey Bay Aquarium: Virtual Tours and lectures

Monterey Bay Meditation Studio: Accessible mindfulness and meditation

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History: Virtual Tours

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: Museum from home

Bites of Wellness: On-line recipes and nutritional tips